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The Sadies serving up surf ’n’ turf tunes

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Who: The Sadies

Where: Garibaldi Lift Co.

When: Wednesday, April 30

It’s not often we get phone calls from people asking us to interview a band but this week we’ve had several such requests. All for a band called The Sadies, playing their first Whistler gig this Wednesday night.

"They are the best live show in Canada," said one late-night anonymous caller. "These guys will bring out all the freaks. They rock, they croon, they’re incredible," said another.

So I dug around the Internet, made a few phone calls to record labels and came up with an impressive collection of accolades, albums, collaborations and chart success statistics that pretty much back-up my mysterious callers’ claims. The Sadies are made up of the Brothers Good, Dallas on guitars and keys, Travis on guitars, fiddles and mandolin; drummer Mike Belitsky and bassist Sean Dean.

Billboard Magazine had this to say about the Toronto foursome: "If the Sadies wanted to, they could be an ass-kickin' country band, a first rate surf outfit, a cool cover act, or a rockin' instrumental combo. Instead they choose to be all of the above." Many reviews I found were along the same vein. In summary, the Sadies provide damn fine live shows filled with serious musicianship for the experienced concert-going crowd.

It’s a reputation Dallas Good takes to heart. "We do pride ourselves on our live shows. We’ve got a large territory to cover with the U.S. and Canada so it kinds of suits us to be known for that more than our CDs anyway," he said.

But don’t get him wrong. The albums are not exactly slim pickings.

They are currently trumpeting their fourth effort, Stories Often Told, which has been Top 5 and even No. 1 on many college and indie radio charts throughout North America and they’ve done several admirable collaborations in addition to that.

"We did one with R&B singer Andre Williams and another with John Langford. So they are the Sadies songs and music with some of our favourite singers in front," explained Dallas.

Then there’s their regular co-hooting with Blue Rodeo, probably the most famous country rock outfit in Canada – still kicking after more than 20 years on the road.

"They’ve been championing us for years now. We’ve toured with them plenty and Greg Keelor let us record at his house. He’s always behind the scenes with the Sadies. In fact on our last record all the members helped out on songs," said Dallas.

The Sadies pedigree is pure Canadian country rock royalty. Dallas and Travis are the offspring of legendary bluegrass band, The Good Brothers, so the boys were practically weaned on country rock rhythms, growing up with guitars as pets and going through puberty at folk jamborees.

A Sadies’ crowd is considered a seasoned one, but lately there’s a whole new generation of alt-rock newbies joining the fold.

"We really do get all sorts these days," said Dallas. "I’d say it stems largely from touring at the grass roots level for so long now. We’d play wherever they’d have us so punk rock bars, biker bars and so a lot of those have stuck with us. The new ones are cool too though. They seem to appreciate something different, which is a great to see."

The overseas market is growing too. The U.K., which is notoriously not in love with country music or even surf music, has taken to the Sadies like a duck to water. A recent inaugural tour finished with rave reviews and a repeat request.

"I couldn’t believe it," said Dallas. "We went over not expecting too much being our first time there but we were able to sell a lot of merchandise, have a lot of fun and now we’re booked to go back in eight weeks to the same places plus an additional week of shows."

So there you have it. Something new and something good (no pun intended). If we can plagiarize one more time, we’ll close with a reference from the band’s own Web site: "The Sadies are the aural equivalent of a van stuffed with saddles, surfboards, and Kinks records. Spooky campfire wails, dusty western trails, garage-punk rave-ups, lounge-tune cool downs, and bluegrass ridge-running all knock heads." Now, how cool does that sound?

Tickets to the Sadies are $10 from the GLC. Chances are they will go quickly with fans coming from far and wide. Call 604-905-2220.

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